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Google Maps v9.36.0 beta adds voice commands to avoid tolls, ferries, and highways, adds custom lists for saved places, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A new Google Maps update is rolling out today. For most people, this version might not have a big impact quite yet, but it's introducing a new feature for some high-level members of the Local Guides program. Those that qualify will be able to create custom lists of saved places. For the rest of us, there's a new notification for local traffic and voice commands to avoid toll roads, highways, and ferries. There are also a few new things to check out in a teardown, including integration with another service, another tease about ordering food, and more.

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Google Maps v9.35 Beta adds Plus Codes to dropped pins and an arrival screen to navigation, prepares for speed limits, ordering food online, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Out of the entire list of apps in Google's lineup, Maps is probably the most consistent about delivering new and interesting features with almost every release. Version 9.35 began rolling out to users signed up to the beta channel yesterday and it's no slouch. Regular drivers can look forward to a new screen to welcome them when they arrive at their destinations, and dropped pins now contain Plus Codes so it's extremely easy to convey fairly precise locations to people through text, IM, and even over the phone. Moving over to a teardown shows that speed limits and current speed are going to be shown during navigation.

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Hangouts v12 finally adds the most important ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ever and will eventually ask other people if their messages are important [APK Teardown + Download]

Forget video messaging, direct share, and whatever happened here. The most important update in Hangouts history finally happened and you're all here to witness it. The Master of Meh has come to Hangouts for Android and really wants you to know it's all okay. It's Shruggie! Yep, the latest update brings Google's greatest non-easter egg to the messaging screen in all its unconcerned glory. You're honor-bound to get the update immediately and begin showing just how unimportant things are to you, too.

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Play Music v6.13 adds a sleep timer and shows progress on Samsung Galaxy Edge support [APK Download + Teardown]

If you enjoy falling asleep to some tunes but don't want them to play all night long, the latest update to Play Music is for you. A new version began rolling out last night and it adds a sleep timer so you don't have to worry about burning through your battery or data all night long. A look inside the app also shows more progress toward adding special support for the Edge display on certain Samsung phones. There are also hints about a watch-specific addition that suggests music for fitness.

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Google Photos v1.26 clarifies plans for video stabilization and teases a faster way to share [APK Teardown]

The recent theme for Google's app updates has been that they're not really packed with big new features. This isn't unusual, just part of the typical ebb and flow as development teams prepare for bigger things. The previous update for Google Photos wasn't loaded with many new features and the new one appears to have none at all. However, a teardown of v1.26 shows that there's still some work going on under the hood for the previously revealed video stabilization feature and hints at a new way to share photos with people that will be even faster than what we already have.

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Google app v6.3 suggests the Google assistant may launch with very limited language support, expands on user-defined actions, and more [APK Teardown]

Most readers are well-aware Google assistant is going to be the big treat later this year. It will soon become a meaningful part of new apps and products like Allo and Google Home, and it will surely introduce new features and capabilities as it evolves many existing ones into something new. A teardown of the latest Google app update reveals a little more about what we can expect when the assistant comes out.

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Download the sweet new ringtones and notification sounds from the 2016 Nexus phones

How about a little Friday Nexus treat? We've got something you may enjoy - brand-new ringtones and notification sounds from Google's upcoming Nexus devices Marlin and Sailfish. Eight notification sounds and ten ringtones, to be precise. My favorite ringtone, per the above image, is the "Rrring." Though, "Hey hey" is pretty funny, too.

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Android Pay v1.5 prepares to show new users where to find NFC on their phones and might be experimenting with the secure element again [APK Teardown]

There are a lot of factors playing into the success and failure of mobile payment systems. Perhaps the most challenging issue for Android Pay to overcome isn't the slow adoption of compatible payment terminals or the general lack of awareness about contactless payments, it's the confusion people experience once they decide to try it. While many users are nervous simply because they don't know what to expect, some others are confronted with an even bigger challenge: they have no idea where the NFC antenna is on their phone. The Android Pay app has been progressively adding more informative screens to help with educating users about tap-and-go payments, and now evidence from a teardown suggests Google will soon teach users what part of the phone to actually tap with.

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Google Play Developer Console app gains review notifications and filters, staged rollout controls, and more [APK Download]

The Google Play Developer Console app isn't a piece of software most of us will use. It's aimed at the folks who make the apps the rest of us download, not the other way around. But more than a few of you are developers, so you might want to check out the latest version of the app. The update brings new ways for you to find what the rest of us feel about the stuff you make.

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YouTube Music v1.38 now allows removing tracks from offline mixtape, promises landscape orientation [APK Download]

If you're a regular user of the dedicated YouTube Music app, you're probably accustomed to updates that add fairly non-obvious changes. The latest update includes a hidden gem that makes the offline mixtape feature considerably more useful. According to an official changelog posted late last night, we should also see screen rotation, but it seems that didn't actually make it into this release. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom so you can skip Google's staged rollout.

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